Photo of Plymouth University Medical School

This profile of Plymouth highlights this medical school's entry requirements, typical offers, student numbers, competition ratios, teaching and learning methods, course structure, demographics and history.

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Summary overview: 

Plymouth medical school offers a five-year, integrated curriculum in partnership with Plymouth & South Devon NHS Foundation Trusts. The course is structured around the human life cycle, covering holistic treatment from birth to end-of-life care. Anatomy is taught with a state-of-the-art virtual dissection table, aided by specialist models. Plymouth has an impressive Clinical Skills Resource Centre, featuring replica NHS wards to real simulate clinical environments.


Key information dashboard

For convenience, here is an at-a-glance summary of key information related to Plymouth medical school.

Links in this dashboard can help you check which other UK medical schools are similar to Plymouth with regard to points listed here.

Be sure to check our notes in sections below for more details about each of these points.

Plymouth medical school establishment date:

Years of course:

Total medical students:

Average year cohort:

South West

Subject prerequisites:

Biology (strictly required)
Chemistry (strictly required)
Maths (acceptable option)
Physics (acceptable option)
Psychology (acceptable option)

Interview format:

Admissions test:

A Level typical offer:

Advanced Higher typical offer:
Not specified

IB typical offer:
36–38 points

General teaching method:
EBL, Integrated

Anatomy teaching:
Virtual dissection table

Intercalation mode:
Not specified

Entry requirements

Work experience expectations:

No specific requirements

Admissions test: GAMSAT, UCAT

UCAT for applicants with relevant Level 3 Qualifications (A Levels, Advanced Highers).
Overall UCAT threshold score for interview allocation – usually in region of 2400.
UCAT must be sat in year of application.
SJT not specified.
GAMSAT if Level 3 qualifications are more than 5 years old or if their current qualifications do not meet published requirements.

Personal statement usage:

Not scored

Interview type: MMI

Candidates are assessed on: Integrity, honesty, flexibility, motivation and commitment to Medicine, empathy & non-judgmental attitude, communication skills, potential for leadership, insight into the roles and responsibilities of a doctor, ability to be a team player, ability to deal with stress appropriately, problem solving skills, knowledge of their own limitations, knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses, and reflectiveness.
Candidates rotate through seven stations, lasting approximately 50 minutes overall.

Coursework subjects expected: Biology (strictly required), Chemistry (strictly required), Maths (acceptable option), Physics (acceptable option), Psychology (acceptable option)

For more details about subjects expected by this medical school, see the notes below regarding typical offers.

Typical offers

A Level typical offer: A*AA-AAB

A Level applicants must achieve an A grade in Biology and A in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and Psychology.
Please note the AAB offer is influenced by contextual data known at the point of application.

GCSE requirements:

GCSE results must include seven passes at grades A-C (9-4), including English Language, Maths and either GCSE double award Science or two from single award Chemistry, Biology, or Physics.

Advanced Higher typical offer: Not specified

Advanced Higher subjects not specified

Scottish Higher typical offer: Not specified
"We are unable to consider Scottish Highers for entry onto this course".
National 5 requirements: National 5 subjects not specified
International Baccalaureate typical offer: 36–38 points

IB coursework must include Higher level 6 in Biology and Higher level 6 in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and Psychology.

Notes about Widening Access:

As explained on the website, Plymouth is committed to Widening Participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of background, are encouraged to apply. Additional information gained through contextual data enables Admissions Advisory Panel to recognise a student’s achievements and identify their potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Contextual data is consulted when determining to issue an AAB offer, based on the criteria outlined in the 'Widening access' section of entry requirements for this medical school.

Total students and cohort sizes at UK medical schools

For uniform comparison of medical student admissions each year across all UK medical schools, we rely on annual reports from the Office for Students (OfS) entitled 'Medical and dental intakes'.

Total medical students: 645 Total years of course: 5 Years data reports available: 5 Average cohort per year: 129.0 Percentage of Home students in latest cohort: 95.1% Percentage of International students in latest cohort: 4.9%
Recent cohort admissions data: 
Admission year Total students admitted this year Home places International places
205 students in this cohort 195 Home students 10 International students
165 students in this cohort 160 Home students 5 International students
105 students in this cohort 95 Home students 10 International students
85 students in this cohort 80 Home students 5 International students
85 students in this cohort 80 Home students 5 International students
80 students in this cohort 75 Home students 5 International students

Competition data

Competition ratio data reported here is from the 2019-20 admissions cycle, as confirmed by MedSchoolGenie Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from this period.

Please note: Due to ongoing impact of Covid-19 since March 2020, UK medical schools have not yet released competition ratio data for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Applicants should keep in mind that coronavirus-related lockdowns and other restrictions affected the entire UK education sector, so competition ratios were most likely distorted during 2020-21. MedSchoolGenie will update here when further competition data becomes available.

Ratio of Home applicants per interview: 
Ratio of Home applicant interviews per place: 
Ratio of Home applicants per place: 
Ratio of International applicants per interview: 
Ratio of International applicant interviews per place: 
Ratio of International applicants per place: 

Applicant percentages of success

From reported competition ratios, it's possible to calculate percentages of success at various stages of the application process.

Numbers of applicants competing in latest admissions cycle

Based on reported numbers of applicants securing places, we can use competition ratios to estimate how many applicants have been competing at each stage of the most recent admissions cycle.

Please note: Estimates of competition factors from 2020 onwards may be less reliable than in previous years because UK medical schools have not yet reported competition ratios for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. MedSchoolGenie will update here when more recent data on competition ratios becomes available.

Total number of all applicants in latest admissions cycle: 1922
Number of Home applicants in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of Home applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of Home applicants securing places: 
Number of International applicants in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of International applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of International applicants securing places in latest admissions cycle: 

Teaching and learning

Predominant teaching style: EBL, Integrated

5-year integrated course.
Structured around the human life cycle.
In first year, students study physical and psychological development from conception to old age.
As explained on the website overview of course features, students "take part in expert-led discussions around clinical case studies and the latest medical science breakthroughs, through our Structured Small Groups teaching approach, including Enquiry Based Learning."

Anatomy teaching method: Virtual dissection table

Overview of course structure

Years One and Two:
Years one and two at Plymouth introduce students to the scientific basis of Medicine, integrated with clinical context through case studies and GP placements. Topics in year one include physical and psychological development through the entire human life cycle. Year two builds on the first year's material, covering disease processing & the social impact of illness. Student selected components are available in years one and two, allowing students to pursue areas of particular interest.
Years Three and Four:
In years three and four, learning increasingly takes place in clinical environments. Through a series of general practice and hospital placements, students learn about three ‘Pathways of Care' each year. These pathways include specialties such as acute care, ambulatory care, and palliative care.
Year Five:
The fifth and final year at Plymouth educates students at either Derriford or Torbay hospital. Emphasis is placed on preparation for foundation training, making students more comfortable in clinical scenarios. Electives take place prior to graduation, allowing students to experience healthcare systems outside of the NHS.

Reported demographics

This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Plymouth to the General Medical Council (GMC), which has compiled this information into spreadsheets as part of its medical school annual return (MSAR) data sets.

Please note this data is retrospective, and that future numbers can vary from preceding years.

Demographic data collection: 

For comparison, we also include below all demographic data reported by this medical school to General Medical Council.

Reporting year Female students Male students Students with declared disability Students without declared disability
2017-18 52.9% female students 47.1% male students 6.0% students with disability 94.0% students without disability
2016-17 49.7% female students 50.3% male students 4.6% students with disability 95.4% students without disability

Medical school history

Established in 2013, after the split of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (founded 2000).

Medical school location

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The John Bull Building, Plymouth Science Park
Research Way
United Kingdom
Geographic region: